PROMISE ME THIS, by Cathy Gohlke, took me somewhere. Having loved historical fiction ever since I can remember, I thought I knew pretty much where we were going with this. Especially since the entire world (generations, in fact) already knows the outcome of one of the main incidents the book is written around. That incredibly disturbing sinking of the Titanic. But there was something I wasn't expecting in it.
I didn't expect to meet Owen Allen.
I loved this character. He was the brother we all wish we had, the confidant, the one true friend who draws the very best out of you even when you're afraid you might not be able to give it. A true “apostle of love” who has the capacity to jump right off the pages and into your heart. At the end, I wanted to be like Owen. To touch people in the same meaningful way that he did in his life. To me, Owen Allen was very real.
PROMISE ME THIS, was a wonderful book. Well-researched, beautifully crafted, with a plot that did not disappoint. Having finished this book, I feel as if I have, somehow, lived through these times, myself, and learned something.
Which, in my opinion, is historical fiction at its best.
Cathy Gohlke is the two-time Christy Award-winning author of William Henry is a Fine Name and I Have Seen Him in the Watchfires, which also won the American Christian Fiction Writers' Book of the Year Award and was listed by Library Journal as one of the Best Books of 2008.
Cathy has worked as a school librarian, drama director, and director of children's and education ministries. When not traipsing the hills and dales of historic sites, she, her husband, and their dog, Reilly, make their home on the banks of the Laurel Run in Maryland. Visit her website at: www.cathygohlke.com.